The Iltolish Mara Primary School is located on top of the Oloololo escarpment in Narok County, Kenya. It was founded in 2007 as a result of the Masaai Mara community's mission to empower through education. The school has a population of 220 students and 13 teachers, spanning grades K-8. Education beyond 8th grade is not available in the Mara village and this is the greatest challenge for the children and parents of the community.
In order to obtain a high school education, students attend boarding high schools, such as the Sameta High School in Kisii, Kenya, nearly 125 km away, with a tuition of $470 year, plus expenses for personal requirements (books, uniforms, bedding, etc.). Students at Iltolish must apply and be accepted into Sameta, demonstrating a strong commitment to "academic, sporting, moral and spiritual development." Due to lack of school fees from the parents/guardians of Iltolish students, it is very rare for an 8th grader to move on to high school.
You see, the Maasai community are pastoralists, meaning they depend solely on cows for their livelihood. Due to the issue of drought in the Mara region, which can last for months at a time, cows are left without pastures or water, resulting in no other source of food for the Maasai. This problem has caused the majority of students at Iltolish unable to further their educations beyond 8th grade.
IT IS THE MISSION OF THE MANZI DEM FOUNDATION TO PROVIDE A FULL HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION FOR EACH AND EVERY STUDENT AT ILTOLISH SCHOOL, WHOM ALONG WITH THE PERMISSION OF THEIR PARENTS, WISHES TO OBTAIN ONE.